How Are You Preparing Your Vulnerable Students For Change?

Are you worrying that your students may not be getting the right support to meet their individual needs? What do you have in place for your pupils least likely to come out of school with the best education?

Oasis PoemThere is so much change happening in the education sector at the moment. The call for all schools to become academies by 2020 has sparked debate; getting into top universities is becoming even more competitive. The class of 2017 will have a unique set of results – with number grades for English and Maths, and letter grades for other subjects. The following year will see more change with all grades moving to the numerical format. It is public knowledge that this change coincides with higher GCSE grades becoming more difficult to achieve. As a result, there is bound to be a level of uncertainty for some students, leaving them vulnerable and unsure.

And that’s before you even consider the personal issues affecting the day to day lives of pupils. Perhaps you are aware that certain students are going to struggle with choosing their options or that despite being academically gifted, some of the pupils suffer from anxiety which hinders their progress in exams. You may be worried that Abigail is likely to go into meltdown even before the start of her GCSEs or Joe is going to find the decision making too much to cope with on top of everything else he is dealing with at the moment.

What does this mean and how will you help your vulnerable students prepare for this change?

If you are able to offer students the uninterrupted space and opportunity to think and talk about their futures, work with the challenges they are facing and be empowered to make choices with confidence, this will help them in times of change.

Students will develop greater resilience if they are encouraged to voice their challenges and ask for the support they need to work with them.

If you can find a way to give more focus to developing their people skills alongside achieving the best grades possible this will set them up for an easier transition into life after school.

Finding the right support in school to help students with options and career choices can be challenging in itself. That's why we would like to thank our guest blogger, Sheila Bradbrook from Oasis School of Human Relations for her thoughts on this topic. If you require further support in this area, Oasis can help. ‘What’s Next For Me?’ is their two day programme tailored to work with the needs of your students, whether they are choosing their options, starting their GCSEs or making decisions about sixth form, college, employment or university. If you would like to find out more please contact Sheila Bradbrook by calling 01937 541700 or email

Written by Sheila Bradbrook on April 14, 2016 11:39

Merseyside School Recognised For Promoting Apprenticeships

At a time when schools are under fire from Ofsted over not giving the right careers advice, a shining example of good practice was recognised last week.

Calderstones AwardHaving caught the judges’ eyes with their ‘A La Carte’ careers advice spanning everything from Apprenticeships to Oxbridge, Calderstones School in Liverpool, took the coveted Career Aspiration Award at the region’s hotly contended Educate Awards.

Teachers and professionals from across Merseyside, Lancashire and Cheshire gathered at the awards dinner to recognise the many achievements of schools across the North West.

The Career Aspiration Award was awarded to Calderstones School in recognition of them helping pupils and parents understand the different career pathways open to school leavers. The advice features apprenticeships alongside other options that are available at 16.

Deputy Head, Sharon Ellis, says: ‘We do everything that we possibly can to help pupils forge a successful future. Career advice is a priority in the school and it’s amazing to get the recognition through the award.’

For the third year in succession the award has been sponsored by the umbrella organisation for 80 training providers. Greater Merseyside Learning Providers’ Federation (GMLPF) Chief Executive James Glendenning says: ‘Schools are responsible for offering robust and comprehensive careers advice to their pupils including viable career alternatives to staying on at school’.

‘The award puts the spotlight on schools that are taking their responsibilities seriously. We sponsor this award to highlight good practice and provide inspiration to other schools.' he said.

GMLPF and its members offer support services to schools to coach and assist them in raising awareness of apprenticeships as a valid route into a career.

Mr Glendenning added: ‘Not all young people are suited to sitting more exams. A vocational approach, such as an apprenticeship will help them work towards a qualification at their own pace, while getting work experience and a wage’.

The award was one of 19 presented on the night. Categories included Outstanding Commitment to Sport, Creative and Innovative Literacy and Science Project of The Year.

For more information about the GMLPF and the support it provides for schools, visit the website at

Written by Teaching Resources Support on December 01, 2015 13:44

A quarter of teens have no plans for future

Study of 80K British Teenagers Reveals More Than 1 in 4 Have ‘No Idea’ What They Want To Do In the Future

NotGoingToUniNew research carried out on more than 80,000 15 to 18 year olds by the leading website for school and college leavers has revealed that more than a quarter still have ‘no idea’ what they want to do once their compulsory education finishes. The study also indicated that less than one quarter of those polled are considering university as an option; with apprenticeships, college and gap years all popular choices.

An extensive new study of British teenagers has given an insight into how 15-18 year olds feel about their further education or career options, as well as how much advice and information they’ve been exposed to about apprenticeships as a viable choice.

The team behind, a website dedicated to spreading awareness of the opportunities that exist outside of university, carried out the research on a total of 81,569 year 11-13 students from around the UK. Each participant was aged 15-18 years old, with the gender breakdown of the study worked out as 50.8% male and 49.2% female. The study took place over a period of 15 months, as part of a tour of UK schools and those considering their post-16 options.

Participants were firstly asked to imagine their future, after being posed the question ‘Do you know what the perfectly happy you from the future does?’ the majority of students (45.1%) stated ‘I have a good idea but I can’t see how to do it’ with 27.1% saying ‘I know absolutely’ and 27.7% having ‘no idea’.

When asked who they were most likely to go to when in need of career advice, the majority (34.9%) said 'parents', with 18% stating they would seek the help of a careers advisor and 22% declaring that they ‘would not need any help’. More than half of students (51.9%) would ideally like career advice given to them ‘face to face’, with more than a third (36.6%) preferring ‘online advice’.

Respondents were next instructed to reveal to researchers what routes they were currently considering for themselves once they had left school, with the option of giving more than one answer if applicable. Answers emerged as follows:

  • University- 24.2%
  • College- 17.7%
  • Apprenticeship (a job with training) – 14.5%
  • Gap year- 13.3%
  • Job (may or may not have training)- 12.0%
  • Set up own business- 7.8%
  • Not sure – 6.2%
  • Traineeship- 4.3%
  • Those students considering university were asked to reveal the main reasons behind this decision, with 28.7% believing that it would offer ‘a better chance of a higher paying job’, 17.6% stating that they thought university was the ‘best environment for learning’ and 16.4% wanting to go ‘to experience the social life’.

    Finally, students were quizzed on apprenticeships. When given a list of answers and asked to choose which best described their attitudes towards apprenticeship schemes, responses were as follows:

  • An Apprenticeship is a good way to progress onto higher education- 45.5%
  • Apprenticeships are for people who have no academic skills- 27.3%
  • Apprenticeships are not for me – 20.3%
  • Apprenticeships are for people who want to drop out of school early- 7.0%
  • Sharon Walpole, CEO of, made the following comments regarding the findings of the study:

    “Asking such a huge number of young Britons their thoughts and opinions on their future career paths was always going to bring up some interesting results. It is particularly noteworthy that less than a quarter of the 80,000 youngsters polled currently feel as though university is a viable option for them, something which is most likely due to the media attention surrounding the expensive nature of studying for a degree.”

    “It’s also very positive to see that almost half of the students realise an apprenticeship is a good, and more cost effective, way to help them progress to higher education, but worrying to see how many wrongly believe they are only useful for people who have no academic skills or want to drop out of school early. Apprenticeships are far more beneficial than a degree for many reasons; you're earning whilst learning, the hands-on experience is invaluable and a lot of the time you're guaranteed a job with the company you've been training with at the end.”

    Written by Teaching Resources Support on August 05, 2015 10:55

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